I am seldom effusive in my praise of any conference I’ve attended.
Most conferences bring in speakers who simply recycle the presentations they’ve done for many other audiences, people clap and get a momentary high from associating with others and hearing engaging speakers. But a few days later, it’s all gone.
This is even truer for conferences dealing with the startup ecosystem.
These are focused on getting already poor (sometimes starving) entrepreneurs to pay hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars to go and listen to the same stuff. Often the carrot is meeting angel and VC investors, but very few people I’ve encountered (if any) ever received an investment based on meeting an investor at one of these conferences.
The Lean Startup Conference is very different, in fact, I cannot be more enthusiastic.
This is one of the few conferences I’ve attended as a company founder and serial entrepreneur that has provided practical knowledge that I can use in building my company.
Low bullshit factor, lots and lots of case studies related to company problems and solutions, great strategic insight and golden nuggets strewn through all the speakers’ talks. In addition, the conference was well organized and the logistics worked flawlessly.
The audience was very diverse – race, geographical origin, profession (software engineer, bioengineer, marketing, C-level execs, tech support, etc.), size of company (everything from pre-revenue startups to major companies like GE and Intuit), and industry (pharma, tech, government, automotive…).
It is doubly impressive that they managed to pull off a conference that worked for such diversity.
Maybe there is excellence in the conference business after all.